It is related that at an early day in the county, one Mike Cavanaugh was prosecuted by the state for an assault over a quarrel at a country dance.  State Senator O.M. Barrett was the attorney for Mike.  John Connell, of Boyden, being the prosecutor.  Connell’s first witness was Cavanaugh and the examination proceeded as follows:

Question.               What is your name?

Answer.                 What you ask me that for, I am here.

Q.                          Have you got a name?

A.                           Ah! the divil a bit can you bulldoze me!

[Here the court informed witness to answer.]

Q.                            Now again—what’s your name?

A.                            Faith and which one—I have several!

Q.                            The one you sign.

A.                            I don’t sign, I can’t write.

Q.                            Is your name Tim?

A.                            That’s one of ‘em.

Q.                            What’s the other?

A.                            Guess yourself again.

Attorney.               Well, Tim will do for you now.

Q.                            Did you see the quarrel?

A.                            Faith and I never seeded it.

Q.                            Was you not there?

A.                            I was thar!

Q.                            And did you see the quarrel?

A.                            No, I heard it though.

Q.                            How far apart were you?

A.                            I didn’t measure the space.

Q.                            How far do you think?

A.                            I don’t think.

Q.                            What did you hear?

A.                            Well, Mike cussed and they fit, then the Dutchman cussed and they fit some more and then they both cussed and fit again and then fit and cussed a lot more.

The witness was dropped and the testimony of other persons was taken, after which the learned (?) Justice arose and said:  “Gentlemen, I have heard all you have said—I have known Mr. Cavanaugh a great many years.  I have lent him my tools and he has lent me his tools; when we wanted each other’s things we always had them.  We always borrowed and paid back, when said we would, or when we felt like it.  We have had good times together—this Mike and I, in this new country and now I ain’t goin’ to let him be blackguarded by an old Dutchman, in this honorable court, and I fine the Dutchman five dollars and costs.  This court of justice is this minute adjourned.”

Cavanaugh was among the very early settlers here—a good fellow—and left the county in 1875.  There was a silver lining to the frequent dark clouds of homestead life, in Lyon County, in the early seventies and the later settlers know but little of the sad experiences of those who cultivated first and from whose unpretentious cabins the smoke of twisted hay (for fuel) curled to the astonished clouds above.


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